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There is truth and accuracy in the press and media

August 8, 2018
Pine Island Eagle

To the editor:

Lugenpresse - the concept of "lying press" - has been around a long time. It is a pejorative political term and has been in use since at least Emperor Nero and his "hostis publicus." It was made famous by the Nazi party in Germany during Adolf Hitler's rise to power, but has been used by all of history's greatest tyrants. Mao Zedong, Josef Stalin, Hitler and others have used the term to incite the populace against the press.

The "Lying Press" charge in United States politics is new. Americans, by and large, have acknowledged freedom of speech and press as foundational rights, and have historically fought against attacks on them. This is changing.

The Trump Administration is the first to call the press "enemy of the people," echoing Stalin, Mao and Hitler. Despite the U.S.'s historical tradition of opposing tyrannical measures, the tactic seemed to gain traction. Over 40 percent of Americans recently polled by Gallup believe there is widespread "fake news."

It's time for Americans to behave like Americans, and not like oppressed people subject to a dictator's whims. Freedom of the press doesn't mean liking what you read and hear, but means supporting the freedom and right to say it without threat or retaliation. Fact checking is the responsibility of all. Free people don't just fall for false charges. There is truth and accuracy in the press and media. Now more than ever, Americans need to seek it out.

Susan McGuire,

on behalf of Pine Island ROAR,




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